• Sincerely, Ronda

My Birthday Wish...

Today is my birthday! I am 45 years young and love every year I am given to spend here on earth with my family, my children, my husband, and my friends. Having watched my parents die so young of cancer I have always been in a hurry to get things done and to live life fast and to the fullest. I know all too well how life can be cut short in just a blink of the eye. I have had a beautiful fun filled life and in an odd way I owe it to cancer.

This year has been incredibly difficult with my own diagnosis of stage 4 Colorectal cancer that has metastisized to my liver and lymph node system. I sit here on my 45th birthday covered in wounds, two weeks out of surgery. I have an eight inch incision down the center of my abdomen, an ileostomy bag hanging off my waistline, and my guts hanging out of my body. I am trying to regenerate 1/3 of my liver, I'm trying to figure out my new diet and how to care for my ostomy I call wormy. In my mind I'm caught between, "'I'm so lucky to see another birthday", to "I'm too young to be this broken".

My surgery went well for the most part. My surgical team is the best of the best and I feel so lucky and blessed to have them be a part of this fight. That being said, I have a tough year ahead of me! The plan for now is six more months of a chemotherapy that is 3x stronger than my last round, another surgery to reverse my ostomy, and a lot more scans and scars. Then we will go from there.

I try and celebrate today. I try and celebrate the fact that I "get" another birthday. I worked hard for this birthday, but I can't help to feel a little disappointed. My body is broken. I feel like I am the marathon runner who collapses before the finish line and needs help to get there. I don't feel like I finished my year off strong, but barely limping by. I planned to do something great, something big for my birthday. I was thinking like a survivor tattoo or a new hair do, but I'm not quite ready for celebrating, instead I will sit here continue to heal and rejoice in every breath I take.

Cancer is confusing. You are stuck between celebrating every little milestone to being angry that you have to. You want to be happy that your surgery went better than expected, but scared and disappointed for the next step and knowing that you have a ways to go. SO for now I'll rejoice that I made it to 45, I'll wish to make it to 46, and I'll pray with everything inside me that I'll see 80! They say age is just a number, but it means so much more than that when you have to fight for it!

To anyone out there fighting this disease,here is my birthday wish. I wish for you good news. I wish for NED (no evidence of disease) scans. I wish for you to have the happy and thankful days, I wish for successful surgeries, I wish for strength and peace in your caregivers, and I wish for a cure! This is my birthday wish!

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